Youth-based films in Telugu cinema suffer from some innate contradictions. For one, the more they change, the more they tend to remain the same. Not surprisingly at all, Thakita Thakita does just that, while putting up a facade of being "out of this world".
The problem is that pretenses, however good, usually wear off, and the cookie starts to crumble just seconds into the film, as a 51 year-old Nagarjuna (formerly a "Yuva" Samrat himself) turns up to put things in perspective, introducing the unknown faces. Indeed, patronage in this part of the world is a different animal altogether.
Soon enough, Anushka walks in to make the second surprise appearance. Guess we're all suckers for the reassuring comforts that familiarity offers. At least, that is what our filmmakers seem to think.
As for the story, Sri, Chandana, Nandini, Kishore, Mahesh, Scud and Bhakti are a bunch of buddies together from school. Then, there's Jessica, a "firang" who stays as a paying guest at the rich Chandana's home.
Nandini loves Kishore, her senior. Her father, though, doesn't approve of their love. Mahesh and Scud have an old-boys' tiff going on between them because of which they can't stand each other.
Sri is madly in love with Chandana, but waits to settle down in life before declaring his love. Chandana is also in love with him, by the way. They both have a strong reason for playing dumb, which is actually the crux of the film - the message, rather.
There's also Dakshayini, who is also crazy about Sri and would stop at nothing to have her man. Then, there's Bhakti, a happy-go-lucky girl.
How these kids come of age, rising above the challenges life dishes out, makes up the rest of the predictable story. Of course, the flick does not stop at that. You cannot have a Telugu film about youth without a message, can you?
Thakita Thakita takes a stand on many burning issues facing the young today, including acid attacks on girls, suicides, misunderstandings and self-esteem issues. There's so much righteousness packed into the film that it might actually make the more sensitive ones among us cry.
The performances, along with the music, stand head and shoulders over everything else. Harshvardhan Rane (Sri) and Haripriya (Chandana) get the most footage, and do a pretty good job. Both look fresh, and have a comforting screen presence.
The rest of the newcomers do a decent job, but there's really not much to do. The writing is good in patches, as some jokes tickle your funny bones while the rest just fall flat.
The music is, perhaps, the brightest spot in the film. While there is that sense of d?j? vu at the back of your mind, Bobo Shashi's tunes leave you feeling nice.
The director, it seems relies on a combination of a lot of extreme close-ups and fancy editing to weave in some freshness, but it just does not come together. The film does look quite slick from the outside, but ends up a little too amateurish.
A few moments in the film (mostly the ones involving Sri and Chandana) stand out, but, all in all, it's more disappointing than inspiring. Watch it if you have to, best with a bunch of hooting, cat-calling gang of friends.